Tag: Baby Care

Best Non-Toxic Play Mats for Baby [Updated 2017]


Now that I have a second baby in the household and I need a larger play space, I recently started researching non-toxic play mats again. I previously used and loved the Baby Care Play Mat (which I have reviewed here). But, despite the company’s claims that the mat is made from non-toxic, phthalate-free PVC, I’ve always had my reservations about how safe PVC mats can truly be. Thankfully, I am now better informed about what makes a play mat truly non-toxic.

[Read the report published by Healthy Building Network regarding phthalate-free PVC. In sum, “even without phthalate plasticizers, the lifecycle of PVC has inherent toxicities that cannot be avoided” and plasticizers – phthalates or not – will still leach from PVC products.]

EVA foam play mats are also commonly touted as being non-toxic. However, EVA foam has been found to off-gas formamide. Currently, there are NO 100% formamide-free EVA foam mats on the market. A company can claim that its mats are formamide-free but it can do so because formamide is only tested to a certain level. [Read this article to see why I consider EVA foam still to be toxic.]

After much research, I have compiled a list of truly non-toxic play mats which I will go into more below.

My criteria for non-toxic play mats that make the cut are as follows:
  1. The mat has to be unquestionably non-toxic (so no EVA foam or PVC).
  2. There has to be sufficient protection against bumps and falls on hardwood floors. Otherwise, it’s easy enough to throw an organic cotton blanket on the floor and call it day.
  3. The mat has to be large enough for a baby/toddler to actually play on.
Truly non-toxic play mats:
Questionably “non-toxic” play mats (but at least not made from EVA foam or PVC):


Baby Care Play Mat Review

Baby Care Play Mat review

I have since written a guide about the Best Non-Toxic Play Mats for Baby which does NOT include the Baby Care Play Mat.

While I still love (and use) my play mats, I cannot in good conscience recommend them without highlighting the fact that these mats are made from phthalate-free PVC. It is highly debatable to what extent phthalate-free PVC is toxic. Bearing that in mind, everything else about my review still holds true.

I love the Baby Care Play Mat (Made in Korea; BPA, lead, latex, and phthalate free) so much, I have two – one in Max’s room and one for his playpen area in the living room. The mat is really big and thick, measuring 82.7 inches x 55.1 inches and 1/2 an inch thick. The mat is also shock-absorbent, waterproof, easy to clean, durable, and dual-sided with a variety of colorful designs. Exactly what you want in a playmat!

My favorite aspect about the mat is just how cushiony it is. We have hardwood floors and Max has fallen back, hitting his head on the mat countless times, but has never cried from a spill. Max may be stunned for a few seconds, but he comes out completely unscathed. The mat is also exceptionally easy to clean – I just spray a gentle cleaner and wipe down with a paper towel. There are no cracks and crevices for food/dirt/dust to get into, although there is a slight waffle texture to the surface (which can trap liquids). So far, despite daily use and abuse, there are no signs of wear whatsoever.